The foundation of Daniel’s life and ministry was his absolute determination and resolve to serve the God of Israel and remain true to Him, even in the pagan land of Babylon (Dan. 1:8). He displayed moral integrity in the most difficult of situations.
Of all the great characters found on the pages of Holy Scripture, none—outside, of course, of our Lord Jesus Christ—serves as a greater example to us than the prophet Daniel.
Transported to Babylon in the first wave of the captivity of Judah in 605 B.C., Daniel’s life was upended at an early age. This could have been an excuse for him to abandon any ties to his people and his God. He was taken to a strange land, given a new name and offered all the worldly comforts available in the king’s court (Dan. 1:7-10).
There he remained for more than 70 years, enduring the launches of two world empires and serving under seven world leaders.
But Daniel took the opportunity—not to blend in, but to stand out. He believed that God had not forsaken him, but rather promoted him. They had taken the boy out of Jerusalem, but they could not take Jerusalem out of the boy (e.g., Dan. 9:21).
And the Lord rewarded Daniel for His faithfulness. Interestingly, the man who received the final prophetic revelation of the New Testament was the Apostle John—“the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:20). Daniel is often regarded as the counterpart to John within the Hebrew Bible, as the one who received the highest understanding of the prophetic future in the days before the coming of Christ. He, too, was a “man greatly beloved” (Dan. 10:11).